FreightWatch: Cargo theft incidents, values on the rise from May to July

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 8/22/2013

Cargo thefts from commercial trucks and the average value of stolen cargo are up slightly in the U.S. for the second quarter, according to the latest report from FreightWatch International.

FreightWatch, which specializes in tracking supply chain information and cargo thefts around the globe, publishes its quarterly reports on a rolling basis. The latest report covers cargo thefts reported between May and July of this year. The report is compiled from U.S. theft data derived from law enforcement and industry databases.

In the period from May to July, FreightWatch recorded a total of 185 thefts in the United States, with 69 thefts in May, 88 in June and 61 in July, according to its latest report. The average loss value per incident during this period was $147,260. Compared with the previous quarter, theft incidents increased by 1 percent, although the average loss value increased by 23 percent.

Doug Morris, OOIDA security operations director, said he believes not all theft incidents are reported, meaning the actual number of incidents could be higher.

Food and drinks, were once again the most commonly stolen type of load, with 55 thefts reported in the quarter. These thefts composed 25 percent of all incidents from May to July. The electronics industry experienced 28 thefts, 13 percent of the total, mainly consisting of televisions, computers and computer accessories.

Recorded thefts increased significantly in both the building/industrial materials sector – 25 thefts, or 12 percent of all recorded incidents – and metals with 22 thefts.

California remained the state with the most thefts, accounting for 25 percent of all thefts in the quarter. Texas, Illinois, Florida and Georgia rounded out the top five.

When it comes to safety, Morris said drivers should always attempt to park in areas they know, avoid telling people what they are hauling, and never leave the truck and trailer unattended for long periods of time.

“You’ve just got to keep an eye your truck, keep an eye on your load, and don’t leave it unattended for long periods of time,” Morris said. “Drivers just need to be more aware of the safety aspect when they park their truck when it’s loaded. And don’t tell people what kind of cargo they have.”

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